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Will Window AC Units Cost You More Than Central Air Conditioning?

Will Window AC Units Cost You More Than Central Air Conditioning?

Cooling your home with the proper system can save you money and electricity and keep you completely comfortable.

Generating a cool dry breeze throughout your home in Western New York makes the hottest days much more enjoyable. Cooling your home with the proper system can save you money and electricity and keep you completely comfortable no matter what the temperature is outside. Will window AC units cost you more than central air conditioning or vice versa?

Many older homes do not have a central HVAC system and homeowners turn to the window alternatives for some relief, but is it costing them more than upgrading their system?

What is Central Air Conditioning?

If you are trying to understand if window AC units will cost you more than central air conditioning, you should first understand what central air conditioning is.

Central air conditioners circulate cool air through a system of supply and return ducts. Supply ducts and registers (i.e., openings in the walls, floors, or ceilings covered by grills) carry cooled air from the air conditioner to the home. This cooled air becomes warmer as it circulates through the home; then it flows back to the central air conditioner through return ducts and registers. To learn more about how central air conditioners compare to other cooling systems, check out this Energy Saver 101 Infographic: Home Cooling.

What are Window Air Conditioners?

While central air conditioning is a solution for whole home comfort, window AC units are used more for smaller areas, and multiple units may need to be used to keep your Western New York home feeling comfortable in the heat.

A window air conditioner is the simplest type of AC unit. It’s a single unit with all the parts and components contained inside one box or casing. This type of air conditioning is usually mounted or installed in a window and plugs into an electrical outlet. Window units operate independently from a home HVAC system. Like other air conditioning units, window AC units use refrigeration properties to remove heat and humidity from a room while cooling air to circulate into the room.

Compare Energy Usage

When considering if window AC units cost you more than central air conditioning, you should compare the energy usage for your cooling system.

A central air unit uses more energy to cool your home than other cooling choices. As Mr. Electricity states, a window unit uses anywhere from 500 to 1440 watts to run, while a 2.5 ton central unit (about the size for a typical 1,500- to 2,000-square-foot home) uses about 3,500 watts. It’s not simply about the size of area cooled, but the fact that central air involves the furnace, too. Central air conditioners are more efficient than window AC units. Keep in mind, a window unit is cooling a smaller space, so you can’t exactly compare the two like for like.

Understand the Cost of Installation for Central Air Conditioning

Adding central air conditioning to your home, may require more than just purchasing the unit and having it installed. For older homes, there is often a lack of duck work for the system to use, and that may increase the installation cost significantly. Understand the cost of the full installation and annual maintenance when considering if window AC units cost you more than central air conditioning.

Is Central Conditioning Right for You?

If you plan to cool more than three rooms and have more than one or two window AC units, the energy consumption will likely cost you more than that of a central air conditioning unit.

A central AC unit adds resale value to your home, so you can recoup more of your investment, if you sell your home. Central AC allows you to cool more of your home at once and maintain more balanced temperatures than window units. Central air units should connect to your thermostat giving you more control over your home’s comfort, than a window AC unit allows.

Central air units are also more efficient and let less cool air escape. Window AC units often have gaps around the window that make them work overtime to accommodate for the leaking cold air.

Duffett Plumbing, Heating & AC, is your team for reliable AC service in Hamburg, NY. In fact, we provide a variety of cooling services: Air Conditioning Repair, Air Conditioning Tune-Up, and New AC Systems. Contact us today.